On Friday morning (Sept. 20th) I’m heading west to Montana (as well as Alberta, Wyoming, the Dakotas, and points in between) on a long photography trip. I haven’t been able to make it on a real photography trip this year so I’m excited to hit the road again. I’m not sure when I’ll be back but it should be in mid-October.
My last trip to Glacier National Park in Montana was in 2003, and that is where I am heading as a starting point. I wasn’t particularly serious about photography back then and I look forward to photographing in one of my favorite places in the world with a (hopefully!) more developed aesthetic and with modern gear.
Alas, my main reason for going there now is to try and photograph the glaciers before they are gone, as that day is coming very soon. On this trip I will photograph the northern Rockies for my Annals of the Former World project, recording the state of these landscapes before they are inexorably changed by the changing climate.
I’ll end with a famous quote from John Muir:
“The mountains are calling & I must go & I will work on while I can, studying incessantly.”
Usually you see just the first half of this quote, but I find the full quote (from an 1873 letter to his sister) more illuminating. Instead of just a call to experience nature, the full quote reveals his desire to study and protect the natural world, responsibility in addition to pleasure. I will certainly enjoy immersing myself in the western parks again, but I go with serious purpose.